Why is Super Metroid So Good?
Super Metroid is considered by many to be one of the greatest video games of all time, which I can agree with. However, what makes this game so good? Today's video games are detailed and realistic, so how does this old school 2-D side scroller still claim the #1 spot on so many 'Greatest Games of All Time' lists?
First and foremost, the title screen. It's strange to say that a title screen grabs you into a game, but it did. The eerie sound of a Metroid, the creepy dark music, and the scrolling of the title screen just barely showing it. You sit there wondering, "What is going on?" Then it slowly pans out showing darkness, death, and the faint cry of the Metroid.
After this title screen, you knew you were in for some serious s***.
Let's start off with the my favorite part of games, the story.
Super Metroid takes place right after Metroid II: The Return of Samus. In Metroid II, Samus finds a freshly hatched Metroid and it attaches to Samus thinking that it's her/him Mother. Samus brings the Metroid to Ceres Space Colony to find out that they can harness the energy from the Metroid. After Samus departs from the colony, she get's a distress signal alerting the Ceres Space Colony is under attack. The Metroid was stolen and Samus must head to planet Zebes and find it.
As this story is unfolding, the music, and atmosphere, and everything is spot on! It kind of gives you chills as your watch the green text type across the screen telling you what has happened, then the true game begins.
You drop into a dark and chilling atmosphere of Ceres Space Colony, no music, just the humming of computers, machinery, and the sound of your footsteps. You eventually stumble into a room where the Metroid was being held to find the scientist laying on the ground dead and covered in blood. This was a FIRST for a Nintendo game! You continue to reach the end of the area, to find the Metroid in a capsule sitting on the ground. You can't pick it up, you can't do anything. Then a faint glow of an eye shows and then this HUGE boss appears! The first intense music shows up and you are getting attacked! You wonder, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?" SHOOT HER! You're shooting and nothing is happening! Your life is quickly depleting, and you are helpless. Eventually the boss (named Ridley) flies away and a timer shows up saying that Ceres Space Station will self-destruct in 5 minutes....WHAT?!?! GET OUTTA THERE! You quickly turn around and run back to where you came from! Stuff's blowing up, ceiling tiles falling and hitting you, you reach the last room and the ENTIRE level shifts! You only have 2 mins left! You reach the elevator to your ship and escape...
SUPER F*$#()$ METROID!
This first part of the game was so damn intense and gripping, it's no wonder this game get's the praise it does. Little to no dialogue, silence, etc. This first part of this game had it all! Why wouldn't you want to play the game after this epic opening?
Now for the game itself.
Like the first Metroid game, you truly feel alone on this huge Planet Zebes. The best way to play Super Metroid it to turn off the lights and only have the glow of the TV. The graphics, music, gameplay, and everything about this game is near perfect. Mastering the wall jumps, finding the Energy Tanks, there is just so much to the game that really immerses you in the experience.
I would go into detail about gameplay and such, but Super Metroid isn't just a game, it's an experience, and I can't really do it justice in words.
When the game came out in 1994, it was a state-of-the-art game. Graphics could only go so far at the time, but Super Metroid pushed the limits of what the Super Nintendo could do and dazzled gamers with the presence this game brought to your television. Sega Saturn and Playstation were just hitting the scene, but a game that was 100% less powerful than those consoles, still looked way better than any game at the time.
Today we have these big games like Halo, The Last of Us, and they are all awesome. Something about Super Metroid though was just amazing, and it will continue to live on as one of the greatest games of all time.